We all have good days and bad days, and we’re all entitled to a little crankiness or negative thinking from time to time. If you’re noticing an ongoing pattern of negativity, complaining, or other mood changes in a senior loved one, it’s worth exploring whether a health problem could be the culprit.
Here are several reasons for chronic negativity, and how you can help.
- Urinary tract infections. A UTI’s classic symptoms of burning, pain, and urgency to urinate can include additional effects for older adults, such as angry outbursts, confusion, irritability, and other changes in behavior or mood. Check with the doctor to rule out a urinary tract infection if you notice these types of atypical behaviors.
- Pain. A recent study revealed that participants who were experiencing chronic pain reported an increase in negative moods, including anger, depression, anxiety, tension, fatigue, and more. It’s important to share any of these mood changes in a senior with the doctor, as these symptoms actually impact the effectiveness of pain management treatments.
- Medication side effects. A number of medications – including those intended to help with mood, such as antidepressants – can cause problematic mood swings. Medications for blood pressure, seizures, and inflammation can cause behavioral and personality changes in some individuals. Again, talk with the doctor and go through all of the senior’s prescriptions to determine if the problem stems from one medication, or possibly the interaction of multiple meds together.
- Dementia. Mood and personality changes are common in dementia. It’s important to realize that these changes are a symptom of the physiological changes in the brain, and are not a reflection of the person’s own choices and decisions. There are medicinal and natural treatment options that can help the person feel calmer and less agitated that you may want to explore.
Negativity can arise from boredom or loneliness, too. Whatever the cause, chronic negativity can wear on a caregiver’s own sense of peace and wellbeing. It’s important to be able to step away from your care role on a regular basis, and to make this time away a top priority. The senior will also benefit from the chance to spend time with different friends, family members, or a professional caregiver. These breaks are a healthy component of your caregiver/care receiver relationship – for both of you.
At Amy’s Helping Hands, the top provider of senior care in Windsor, Ontario and surrounding areas, our caregivers are great companions to help brighten a senior’s outlook and mood! All of our care staff are fully trained, background checked, and experienced in a wide range of in-home care services for seniors. Contact us online or call 519-915-4370 for a complimentary in-home consultation to see how we can help someone you love, while allowing you the time you need to rest and rejuvenate.